Tuesday, November 30, 2010

American Presidents and the Korean Conundrum

"When the current Korean crisis emerged, I immediately contacted the wisest person I know on the subject," says Matthew Rothschild of Gene Matthews, who "spent decades in South Korea as a missionary who was active in the pro-democracy movement" — Keeping Perspective on North Korea.

"A strong case could be made for saying that Carter's visit to the north prevented war from breaking out," says Mr. Matthews, noting that "President Clinton even began to speak of a possible visit to the north." He goes on to say, "Without being totally naive about the situation I cannot help but feel that North and South Korea could be thrashing out the final clauses of some kind of positive détente had George W. Bush not been appointed U.S. president by the Supreme Court." He also blames "President Obama's abysmal approach to the Korean situation, who, "as president he has almost wholeheartedly embraced Bush's policies."

The Carter-Clinton approach may have been less terrible than the Bush-Obama approach, but a better approach would have been benign neglect, and to have let the Koreas work the problem out amongst themselves.

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.